[Webinar Alert]
🤫 Join North Point & Built Bar as they unveil 5 unconventional HR secrets you’ll want to know in 2024!
« Back to Blog

Creating a Digital Workplace: Manufacturing Infrastructure Solutions

Heavy Manufacturing Safety Checklist
Men who use a digital workplace in manufacturing.

What if you could increase your production without overhauling your infrastructure? What if your business could become more efficient, productive, and safer for employees? What could you do if your shop workers were more connected and better informed?

A digital workplace can help you get there.

As manufacturing is transformed by the pandemic, demographic shifts, and evolving economic conditions, forward-thinking leaders are using digital workplace technology to navigate these unchartered waters and open up new frontiers. But using a digital workplace to connect manufacturing teams goes beyond simply surviving turbulent times. It’s about creating sustainable infrastructure that puts businesses back in the driver’s seat. 

The Power of a Digital Workplace in Manufacturing

A digital workplace empowers frontline employees because it gives them the tools they need to do their best work. 

That may sound simple, but very few manufacturing businesses are putting it into practice. 

As a result:

An outstanding digital workplace provides a streamlined way to address all this and more.

So, why haven’t more manufacturers invested in digital workplaces? The reasons are complex, but one major factor is the belief that doing so requires an enormous infrastructure overhaul. But that isn’t the case. In fact, creating a digital workplace for manufacturing can be done relatively easily. 

Unlock the Potential of Mobile

Most frontline workers don’t have company email accounts or a centralized, single source of truth to turn to for information. That discourages attempts to create a digital workspace. The belief is that employees are too disconnected to take advantage of digital tools. 

Chances are, however, that your employees all have mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.). This near-universal access to mobile technology is a tremendous opportunity. If manufacturers deploy a mobile-first frontline operating system that can be accessed from devices that nondesk employees already have, then a digital workplace is within reach. 

How to Create a Digital Workplace 

With a digital workplace, manufacturing businesses can take the bold steps necessary to succeed in a transforming industry. 

Connect Frontline Teams to Their Managers and Each Other

One of the most valuable benefits of a digital workplace is the ability to connect all employees. 

When employees are more connected, they can:

  • Easily access information on processes, policies, and products
  • Communicate with managers and colleagues to ask questions, switch shifts, troubleshoot problems, and more

Digital workplaces help managers stay connected too. 

Here’s how:

  • Management can communicate directly with frontline workers and confirm that messages have been received with confirmation campaigns
  • Management can quickly provide context around when and why things change. This helps alleviate friction these last-minute changes cause for frontline teams 

This makes a huge impact across the organization. For example, a manufacturing training program that’s integrated into a digital workplace can reduce onboarding time and give new employees more power to perform their best.  

Create a Plan for Governance 

Sometimes, resistance to a digital workspace in manufacturing comes from a simple and understandable fear: employees looking at their phones when they should be working. 

Safety, security, and productivity are major reasons most companies limit worker access to devices during the day. That’s why governance needs to be a big part of the digital transformation. Creating guidelines about how digital tools are used is crucial to the success of a digital workplace solution. 

Issues that need to be considered when rolling out a BYOD policy include:

  • Guidelines around when and where workers can use their devices
  • Decisions around what information is stored in the platform
  • Who has access to upload, download, and share
  • How to manage proprietary information

Data security must always be a top priority. A secure frontline operating system allows businesses to increase connectivity without increasing risk. 

Track Your Results

A digital workplace platform is a powerful way to align and support your business goals. Being able to accurately measure its impact is essential to maximizing your investment. 

Key metrics to track include:

  • Adoption rates
  • Usage time
  • Productivity increases
  • Integrations

Being able to easily connect your existing systems into a digital workplace allows for easy automation, improves adoption, and maximizes ROI. 

New Technology for a New Era in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is changing. The industry needs to attract the next generation of workers, many of whom are digital natives. Creating a user-friendly digital workplace helps manufacturers grow, hire, and retain the next generation of frontline workers and gives seasoned employees new opportunities for advancement. 

Beekeeper gives manufacturers the power to build the future. As a mobile-first frontline operating system, Beekeeper empowers employees and adds capabilities without the need for infrastructure overall. We prioritize access, communication, and control so businesses have the power to determine how their digital workplace is used. 

Manufacturing will never go away. But manufacturers that fail to change will fall by the wayside. Businesses that adapt, on the other hand, will transform the industry, and the world.

Download our Heavy Manufacturing Safety Checklist to see how a digital workplace that empowers frontline workers can create a brighter, safer future.